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Investigation report tendered in Wowo and Jobarteh trial

Aug 29, 2013, 10:24 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

The defence yesterday succeeded in tendering the investigation report in the ongoing trial involving former Chief Justice Joseph Wowo, and former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Lamin A.M.S. Jobarteh.

Justice Wowo and Lamin A.M.S. Jobarteh were arraigned on a thirteen-count indictment which included abuse of office, conspiracy to defeat Justiceand interference with witnesses, offences relating to Judicial proceeding, to giving false informing to a public officer, which both denied.

Yesterday’s court proceedings was characterized by questions and answers, which saw the tendering of the investigation report by the defence, following the application by the defence counsel to tender the report.

Continuing his testimony under cross-examination before Justice Emmanuel Nkea of the Special Criminal Court, detective Jawor Keita told the court that during the course of the investigation he saw the report.

He added that there were two reports, as far as the case was concerned, and the second report was from a five-man panel, of which he was a member.

He identified the first report when it was shown to him by the defence counsel during cross-examination, and said he signed it.

Defence counsel Uzuma applied to tender the report as a defence exhibit, which the court accepted.

Officer Keita stated that the first report was in respect of the complaint made by the 1st accused, Wowo, to the NIA, and the second report was in connection with his conduct.

He said he also signed a copy of the second report.

“I saw a letter dated 3 December 2012, which the 1st accused addressed to the Director General of the NIA”.

The defence counsel again applied to tender the said letter, which was also admitted and marked as an exhibit.

Still testifying under cross-examination, officer Keita said: “I joined the Gambia Police Force in 1995, and before investigating a case, we do not normally form an opinion on it.”

He said that during the course of the investigation, they obtained a statement from one Suwaibou Jammeh, who told the panel that he was instructed by Amie Bensouda to get the cases at that period of time from the High Court.

He said that from the statement, there was no restriction to land cases only, and they took a statement from the then Sheriff on the cases pending before the High Court.

Officer Keita further told the court that there was no approval from the Judiciary, and that before the investigation the letter of Wowo was addressed to the DG NIA.

He added that their report was addressed to the IGP, and the investigation panel did not recommend the prosecution of Wowo.

“We sent the case file to the AG’s Chambers for legal advice. I am not aware that in January and July 2013, that the 1st accused was arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court,” officer Keita said.

“I am aware that he was remanded for two weeks, and later granted bail by the High Court. We received advice from the AG’s Chambers, but I did not have the copy of the said advice,” he said.

The case continues today.